Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman unveiled his plan to spur job growth on Wednesday. Although his proposed tax reforms aren’t offset by specific spending reductions, the economic policies he favors would encourage economic expansion and enhance America’s energy independence.
Huntsman would simplify the income tax code by introducing three reduced rates of 8, 14 and 23 percent on personal incomes. He would also eliminate taxes on capital gains and dividends which he describes as a form of “double taxation” that deters “productive and much needed investment in our economy.”
His plan pledges to be “revenue neutral” but fails to specify where he would cut federal spending to accomplish that goal.
Perhaps the most important tax reduction that Huntsman favors is a lowering of America’s corporate tax rate — which is among the highest in the industrialized world — from 35 to 25 percent. Moreover, Huntsman would stop taxing businesses on worldwide income and encourage them to bring profits home to invest in new jobs. Both reforms would free up capital for the private sector to invest.
On regulatory reform, Huntsman promises to repeal the president’s health-care and financial reform acts and “dramatically rein in the EPA.” Specifically, he opposes the Environmental Protection Agency’s ozone standard revision which would significantly hinder new construction and its fuel efficiency rules which would bar heavy duty vehicles from converting to natural gas.
Rather, Huntsman favors expanding domestic natural gas production to decrease America’s dependence on the import of foreign hydrocarbons. He also advocates “environmentally sound energy projects,” including drilling in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico as well as shale gas and oil development in the continental United States.
Finally, the former ambassador to China lambasted the president for failing to enact pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea which continue to await ratification by Congress. Besides pushing for implementation of these deals, Huntsman promises to pursue additional trade opportunities with other nations, including India, Japan and Taiwan.
Huntsman would also privatize the nationalized housing agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which so disastrously contributed to the housing bubble of the 2000s.